Island of Many
The holidays were pretty good this year. Truth be told, I’ve not looked forward to them for eons, so “pretty good” is an A. Or the A version of a C, which is all I ever really expect the holidays to feel like. I’m not a Scrooge. The holidays just give me major FOMO. I’m not even sure what I think I’m missing out on. I always get to spend time with my kids, which is all I care about, but for some reason, in some Sliding Doors alternate universe, I’m sure there’s a way better Christmas I’m having. I just can’t access it. I cry every year…Holly Hunter style from Broadcast News. I steal away, bawl my brains out super quick, then return to whatever A of C scene I left, and no one is the wiser.
What’s it all about? Don’t ask me. I don’t even care, really. I’ve just accepted it. I think it’s because, while I am typically a get-to-the-bottom-of-it kind of girl, I don’t think there is a bottom. As in, there’s not one root cause, but a gazillion, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Also, it helps to know that most of you have crap holidays too. Thank you for that. And if we’d all just admit it, instead of f*cking Kate Hudson posting f*cking idyllic Christmas chicanery with her giant, gorgeous, hilarious, rich family in some snow globe destination, wearing matching jammies, her third kid with the third guy…but somehow it works…leaving Santa a Negroni with his cookies (insert Jim Carrey fake laugh here) we’d all feel a little less like sh*t. I guess I just got to the bottom of it. It’s Kate Hudson’s fault.
Regardless, I’m sure I’ll cry next year. Christmas always holds up a mirror to everything that’s wrong in your life, and there’s always something wrong. This year, during my breakdown, I said to myself, “Lynda, you have a choice. Choose to ruin Christmas or not.” I chose “not” then, did some turbo tapping, and resumed making brunch for my beloveds, blaming my absence on returning a call from my mom. Jazz hands.
The next day I went to yoga, which was unusually packed. Especially because it was a Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., but it was in-between-week, so everybody had an irregular schedule. The instructor opened with how happy she was to see us all because “The holidays can be hard.” I’m sure they were for her. She had a breakup this year and the holidays really pour lemon juice onto that wound…unless you’re made of Teflon like Kate Hudson. (I don’t hate you, Kate Hudson, just your fucking Christmas.) But the second she said it, the energy in the room felt like a salve. I can’t explain it but her naming it made the sun peek out on that cloudy day (it actually did) and the heat in the room was like some celestial embrace, which was both soothing and energizing. It was for everyone. The collective lift was palpable.
It reminded me of this time I went for a walk with my friends during lockdown. We all had the same Groundhog Day lives at that time. (Movie references much?) But we were all surprised to hear that the others did too. And glad.
I think these things are less misery-loves-company and more misery-feels-lonely-and-company-means-you’re-not-alone.
My fellow Christmas angsters and lockdown sufferers were suddenly less afraid and so very relieved when they learned they weren’t alone. Alone sucks. And I am a loner. But when I choose to be alone, I’m not in pain. When I find myself alone it feels like I’ll die that way…on an island with no one in matching jammies.
The truth is, I was on an island of many. And when we all learned there were others, the island disappeared, and we were back in our bodies in a yoga studio.
I hope I remember this next year. And I hope I focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. Maybe I’ll even get to the bottom of the gazillion reasons why Christmas is always a letdown.
Maybe not. That’s way more than just a Christmas thing. Christmas just gets blamed.
Well, I don’t think I’ve solved anything here. Just that I’m not alone, you’re not either, and Kate Hudson’s Christmas can f*ck off.
Happy Birthday, Jesus! (Jesus.)
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